Thursday, September 29, 2005

Suicide pact in the UK is reported to be the first of its kind
I guess that means the aborted pact of Gooden & Gillies a few years ago doesn't count. Either that or the Brits have an exceptionally short memory.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hail Britannia
To make a long story short, some British soldier (who were not in uniform) shot some Iraqi police, but were detained by other Iraqi police and put into jail. London claims the detained British were "freed after negotiations", but that process seems to have included the use of tanks and helicopters to blow a huge hole in a wall of the prison they were being kept.

It's nice to see how sincere the occupation forces in Iraq (especially the Brits) are about allowing Iraqis to rule their own country and to enforce their own laws in it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Chicken Little is still screaming
There has to be a cultural element to the coverage of suicide in the UK that i don't understand. Literally thousands of people over there commit suicide and the general coverage,while it laments this fact, is decidedly factual. On the other hand, when it comes to suicides that have some sort of connection to the Internet, the reporting is almost always torrid over there. Thousands of people are killing themselves over there, and the experts all have something to say about it: people are said to be killing themselves because they don't see where they fit in with the rest of society etc., but if that person had any contact with an online suicide forum, suddenly it's as if none of those other factors have any significance at all and it's declared a "horrifying" fact that a grand total of less than 10 people have died after having been allegedly pushed to kill themselves by reading the information in the forum. If the subjects of the UK are so easily swayed by what they read on the Net that the offline elements of their lives that influence their decisions become insignificant by comparison, perhaps the happiest solution to this "horror" is to make access to the Internet illegal in the UK, period.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

It has come to light that Carina Stephenson not only searched the web for information on suicide methods, she first disabled the nanny-ware that was on the family computer that was meant to prevent her from searching the net for sites her parents considered inappropriate.

So, let's see if i have this straight: a 17 year old adolescent (who apparently wasn't so jolly before going to Australia afterall), goes to a foreign land to be filmed for four months while living in highly primitive conditions so as to get away from whatever it was in the UK that she found so distressing, comes back apparently even worse off emotionally since she turns reclusive, at some point she disables software with the intent of finding information her parents didn't want her to see, and then uses the information to kill herself, and the suicide fora she consulted are being blamed as the cause of her death? I have to give credit to her mother for trying to be a responsible parent insofar as she had the nanny-ware installed, but if her sprog was smart enough to figure out how to disable it, why does she suppose that her "funny girl" couldn't figure out a suicide method on her own if the sites didn't exist? And given the apparently chronic nature of her daughter's problems and the apparent lack of communication between them, where did she ever get the idea that she and her daughter were "best friends"?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Lions & Tigers & Pixels -OH, MY!

Earlier this year in the UK, 17 year old Carina Stephenson, "by all accounts a vivacious 17-year-old" hung herself. Why did she do it? Unless she explicitly explained why in one of her three suicide notes, nobody will probably ever know. But it's probably safe to guess that her spending four months taking part in the filming of a reality show that is set in the Australian outback had something to do with it; after having endured the primitive conditions there, upon her return to the UK she became reclusive, no longer apparently the "well balanced, normal, happy and healthy girl" she had been before. So why all the renewed fuss in the media about suicide fora on the internet? Because the fora are being blamed for this death, too. Yes, it would appear that Carina's mother is convinced that if it were not for the existence of suicide fora, her daughter would still be alive today.

But reading suicide fora on the net didn't make Carina suicidal, she was already suicidal from having to put up with heaven knows what for four months on a strange continent. I'm guessing that the family signed some sort of waiver when it agreed to participate in the filming of the show that would absolve the show's producer's from any legal responsibility should the stress of primitive living be too much, because that's the only way i can rationally account for the lack of finger pointing at the show's producers. One has to wonder if the people being filmed for this show were paid anything resembling a decent compensation for their time and their troubles.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Suicide pact in Taiwan uses CO method, kills two.